Q1 2023 Delivery Roadmap update

The first quarter of 2023 saw the continued seamless operation of Canada’s national payment systems. The Automated Clearing Settlement System (ACSS) and Lynx continue to operate safely and smoothly and this past quarter cleared and settled over 2.27 billion transactions valued at more than $29.56 trillion.

On March 20, Payments Canada successfully implemented the second release of Lynx, which introduced the ISO 20022 financial messaging standard to Canada. We’ve entered a new era for payments. ISO 20022 will support the inclusion of additional data about the payment that will allow our members to offer enhanced and new products and services to their customers.

Payments Canada has completed this implementation concurrently with the global payment community; a once-in-a-lifetime migration undertaken by financial institutions in over 200 countries and territories around the world. With the implementation of the MX message standard, the Lynx Modernization program has come to a close. On behalf of Payments Canada, thank you to our Lynx participants, Swift, IBM and Nexi and the Bank of Canada for your support throughout the Lynx program. Ongoing collaboration and alignment between regulators, members and stakeholders will be critical to ensure that Canada’s payment systems continue to meet the needs of Canadians and Canadian businesses now and in the future.

Payments Canada continues to advocate for broader access to Canada’s core payment systems. In December 2022, Payments Canada issued a letter to Minister Freeland in partnership with a diverse coalition of organizations from across the payment industry, asking the federal government to make amendments to the Canadian Payments Act (CP Act) as part of Budget 2023 to expand Payments Canada’s membership eligibility. Through expanded membership, we can ensure payment service providers operate inside the regulatory system.

In Q1, we continued to build on this theme. Part of our advocacy efforts for these changes involved submitting responses to the Government of Canada’s pre-budget consultation, the Department of Finance’s proposed Retail Payments Activities Act (RPAA) regulations and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s (ISED) consultation on the Competition Act and the future of competition policy in Canada.

On March 29, the Minister of Finance released the 2023 federal budget without mention of amendments to the CP Act. We were disappointed to see our request omitted. Payments Canada will continue to engage with the Department of Finance to prioritize modern payments. We have asked that Finance conduct a public consultation on proposed CP Act changes and implement changes to the CP Act to expand Payments Canada’s membership eligibility in 2023. To learn more about what expanded membership and participation in our national payment systems will mean for Canada, I encourage you to read this interview with Ron Morrow from the Bank of Canada and listen to this episode of The PayPod featuring Nick Cicchino from Meridian Credit Union and Cyrielle Chiron from Peoples Group.

In the first quarter of 2023, Payments Canada completed a third-party review of the Real-Time Rail (RTR) program. Initiated by Payments Canada with support from our members, the review was focused on delivery assurance, and resulted in a number of helpful recommendations with a focus on testing and operational readiness. Payments Canada has begun taking steps to implement the recommendations, in collaboration with our delivery partners and RTR participants. Implementation of the recommendations will have an impact on the RTR launch date. Replanning is underway and, following this process, Payments Canada will be able to announce the go-live date for the RTR.

Also in Q1, Payments Canada welcomed a new chair and vice-chair to our Stakeholder Advisory Council (SAC): Brent Mizzen, from Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), and Don Mercer, from the Consumers Council of Canada (CCC). SAC provides advice and counsel to our Board of Directors and staff, and helps us make informed decisions regarding the challenges and opportunities for payment users and providers. Additionally, we announced Donna Kinoshita as our new Chief Payments Officer. Donna joins us on May 2, 2023.

For the first time in three years, we are once again preparing for an in-person conference. The agenda for The Payments Canada SUMMIT is live and growing every day. Featuring over 150 speakers and 70 breakout sessions across six different content themes, the event will cover a wide range of topics central to the evolution of payments including open banking, digital ID, real-time payments, ISO 20022, cyber security, industry trends and research, and much more. The SUMMIT is an excellent opportunity to learn, network and discuss the future of payments with national and international payment professionals. I look forward to seeing many of you in-person at The SUMMIT from May 3-5 in Toronto.

Tracey Black
President and CEO
Payments Canada

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